SACRAMENTO, Calif. — March Madness returns to the Golden 1 Center after it's abrupt cancelation in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The return presents a big chance for businesses to enjoy the millions of dollars that come with hosting a portion of the tournament.
"Never thought of coming to Sacramento except for this particular event," said Robert Spitzfaden.
As a diehard basketball fan, Spitzfaden also plans to head to Houston for the final four.
But the competition isn't just on the court. For hotels, they have to bid with Visit Sacramento to be one of the hosts.
The Hyatt got one of the spots of the eight contracted team hotels. While they can't officially say who they are hosting, all signs point to a potential elite final four contender. They sold out their 505 rooms without having a convention in town.
"It's amazing the amount of people I have met just being in the lobby that have never been in Sacramento before in their life, so it's just a really great opportunity to showcase our city," said Brenda Kirian, director of sales at Hyatt Regency.
There is a whole day between rounds for fans to shop and eat locally around the city.
"It's a big help for businesses. Many are still recovering from COVID," said Testa.
Visit Sacramento anticipates Sacramento, Yolo and even Placer County will be collecting big revenue in terms of hotel taxes. They estimate $10 million will be made in five days of the NCAA tournament, with the potential win over some visitors.
"What we've found with sports, music fans or even conventions, once we get them here, they fall in love with the city," said Testa. "So these events are a great tool for that."